University of Mons (BELGIUM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 3818-3824
ISBN: 978-84-09-27666-0
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2021.0788
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
In a racing team, everyone’s tasks are assigned and each teammate has a specific role. They indeed need to be numerous but must interact and share information in an efficient way (Gino & Pisano, 2011). A MotoGP racing team is composed of the team-management, stewardship and the technical team. In this research, we focused on the training course for this last category of workers. The job of the competition mechanics is undeniably crucial and their actions must be very precise (Crawford, 2009). This is a "highly qualified" profession where knowledge and skills are derived from initial training, experience and additional certifications (Dejoux & Thévenet, 2010). Belgium and France offer vocational training as a mechanic, available from 16 years old (3rd stage of secondary education) (CEDEFOP, 2015). It is also possible to acquire these skills in more informal ways but this type of training is currently devalued (Akkari & Dasen, 2004).

In our research, we met eight male subjects (5 were Belgian and 3 were French). They were between 28 and 61 years old and were practicing as competition mechanics for several years. Three tools were used to collect the data: an anamnestic questionnaire, the Self-Efficacy Scale of Follenfant and Meyer (2003), and a semi-structured interview. All of our subjects hold an upper secondary technical education diploma. Our results underline that all of them enhanced their technical school knowledge in different ways to join a competition team: some were trained directly by the team and others pursued additional training. Subjects report having mainly acquired their mechanical skills through their professional and personal experience but also through peer support. All got several jobs before joining a professional team. Their expertise in national championships was an asset to finally join international or world championships. They emphasize that a diploma does not guarantee direct access to MotoGP racing teams. The experience gained on the ground as well as their perseverance mostly allow access to the profession’s elite. These results are following those of Clerc (2017) which showed that technical professions (such as mechanics) are more concerned with an informal apprenticeship. Several motivations deeply determined their career choice: the passion for motorcycles and mechanics, love of rewards (victories, results) and search for performance. As the results on the self-efficacy scale show, they have a good level of personal efficiency at work. They consider, for example, having the necessary capacities to face any difficulty during races.

Our results show the importance of promoting professional experience from the start of training for future mechanics. If formal education is a powerful tool to engage young people in motivating future activities, it cannot give them enough concrete background to directly start the professional career they aspire. Becoming a racing mechanic requires the acquisition of more specific skills (Crawford, 2009). It is therefore important that young people can earlier receive more intensive hands-on training, in agreement with their future profession’s expectations.
Training Course, Vocational Education, Racing Teams Mechanics.